Out with the old, in with the new starters

Jeremy Gustafson

Craig Campbell and Lane Danielsen gave everyone a glimpse of what they can do last year.

Campbell showed us on a 53-yard dash to the end zone against then No. 1 Nebraska en route to a 3-catch, 119-yard performance. Danielsen highlighted the Cyclone’s win over Oklahoma State with a 33-yard score clinching the ISU victory.

The test will be whether they can do that during an 11-game schedule while on the field regularly.

J.J. Moses and Chris Anthony proved they could. Those star receivers from last year’s 9-3 squad combined for 88 receptions, 1,224 yards and five scores.

“We’ve got to find someone at wide receiver that can give us the big plays that J.J. Moses did last year,” said ISU head coach Dan McCarney. “J.J. gave us those plays that can turn games around.”

“Mr. Steady out there, Chris Anthony, was a sensational player,” McCarney added.

Campbell and Danielsen don’t look at it as a rebuilding year, rather as a chance to prove everyone that they can certainly pick up where Moses and Anthony left off.

“We’re going into this season not trying to miss a beat,” Campbell said. “We’ve got new receivers, a new quarterback [Seneca Wallace]… We’re going to go out there and compete. All we can ask for is to go out there and make plays.”

Along with Campbell and Danielsen, there will be Jack Whitver and Todd Miller to offer their assistance. Jamaul Montgomery, who hauled in three catches and 51 yards against Pittsburgh in the Insight.com Bowl, will start the season as the team’s No. 1 flanker.

Another guy who can expect quarterback Seneca Wallace to call his number a lot this season is tight end and team captain Mike Banks. Banks will shoulder the receiving load this season, in part, because he has fixed both of his shoulders.

“It was optional; I didn’t even have to get it done,” Banks said of his surgery. “I didn’t want to get half-way or three-quarters of the way through the season and have my shoulders start bothering me.”

Banks had a “bone build-up” that was pinching his bicep’s tendon, so he had some of the bone surgically shaved off.

Now that he is back at 100 percent, Banks is back to bench pressing more than 400 pounds, a feat that earned some high praise from McCarney.

“I wouldn’t trade him for any other tight end in the country,” McCarney said.

Banks has improved his numbers every season, grabbing a career-high 27 receptions last year and racking up 273 yards.

Still one thing has eluded Banks – the end zone, as he has yet to score a touchdown at Iowa State.

“I want to make catches and make plays for the team, but getting into the end zone doesn’t really matter that much,” Banks said. “I hope I get there, but I’m not going to put a lot of weight on it.”

If Danielsen’s preseason prediction comes true, ISU fans, coaches and players can expect all of the Cyclone receivers to spend some time in the end zone.

“All of our top four receivers have big play capability,” Danielsen said.